alcantara and nelles on settler colonialism and multi-level governance


Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles, ‘Indigenous Peoples and the State in Settler Societies: Toward a More Robust Definition of Multilevel Governance’, Publius (2013).

Over the past fifty years, Indigenous peoples in settler countries have mobilized to demand policy and institutional changes from their respective states. Although some scholars have employed multilevel governance (MLG) to make sense of these developments, none has examined systematically whether MLG accurately describes these phenomena. We address this lacuna by creating a more robust definition of MLG and applying it to a sample of Indigenous–settler interactions in Canada. Our findings suggest that MLG is an applicable concept for some, but not for all of the Indigenous–state interactions that are typically assumed to be instances of MLG. This conceptual clarification should help scholars from a variety of countries to use MLG more effectively to analyze the relationships between Indigenous peoples and their respective states.

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